A reminder of the tragic past
About 2 km southeast of the town of Nové Hrady (35 km from České Budějovice) is located in close proximity to the former customs house at the border crossing Nové Hrady – Pyhrabruck „open-air museum of protection of the state border and Iron Curtain“, which focuses on the history of protection of our state border period of the Cold War. There is an original wire barrier and a miniature of a military quarters with an exhibition of period objects. The exhibition is part of the Novohrad Museum and was opened in 2013.
The visitor will get an overview of the development of border protection from the earliest times to the entry of the Czech Republic into the Schengen area of the EU. The largest part of the exhibition focuses on the protection of the state border during the so-called Cold War, when the world was divided into two irreconcilable military-political blocs.
During the Cold War, the entire border was secured by an ingenious technical system and carefully guarded by border guards. Among other things, an example of soldiers' accommodation can be seen in the exhibition
Armaments and equipment of border guards
The exhibition of authentic equipment and armaments of border guards and extensive pictorial and textual material will allow visitors to partly get used to the situation of the then turbulent times.
Construction of wire barriers along the state border with „enemy“ states began as early as 1952. Usually, two or three fences were built in a row at a distance of about 1.5 m. since 1953, the wire barrier has been supplemented by a high-voltage distribution system mounted on insulators on the middle wall of the wire barriers. The aim was to kill people who approached the drivers illegally. As the power plants pointed to the high consumption of electricity needed for the developing national economy, the power to the wire barrier was usually switched on only during the time for the protection of the state border of the unfavorable operational situation. The system was very energy intensive and expensive. In 1965, the electrified wire barrier was gradually abolished and replaced by signal walls. The wire barriers were supplemented by a system of watchtowers and maintained roads, which enabled the rapid intervention of soldiers.
Example of the latest version of wire barriers
There is a demonstration of the last type of electrified wire barrier in the Novohrad open-air museum. It is a double-walled wire barrier. Towards the interior was a signal wall, towards the state border the fence was electrified. Between the fences was a 4 m wide control strip of plowed land
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